1) From Oman, an article in Al-Fahel (August 1999) about Reef Balls was
published with color photos of fantastic growth and fish on Reef Balls.
The project coordinator reports, “Our Reef Balls keep on growing…we have
30 more Reef Balls ready to go in and are waiting for the barge to be
repaired to move them their designated locations. We plan to go out for a
video/photographic trip in two weeks time to see the development over the
last three months.”
2) UnderWater Magazine (The Association of Diving Contractors
International) has an article on Reef Balls in the Fall 1999 issue, page
3) We are upgrading our presence at the DEMA show (Dive Equipment and
Marketing Association) this year to a 20 foot booth. Drop by and see us
in Las Vegas January 18-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
4) At the 7th CARAH, we learned some important practical ideals for Reef
A) Fill some of your Reef Balls with suitable materials such as broken
cinder blocks, natural rocks, left over pH neutralized concrete, small
sized Reef Balls, etc. to gain added complexity for juvenile fish and
increased diversity to the overall reef. Although the scientific
investigation continues a good “guestimate” is that between 10-20% of the
Reef Balls in each major cluster should contain this treatment to more
closely mimic natural reefs.
B) Although sand foraging species (i.e. gag grouper) may benefit from
sites where the Reef Balls are spread out, some studies are now showing
better diversity on tightly packed clusters of Reef Balls. A practical
approach may be to have a majority of your Reef Balls in clusters but to
have some spread out and isolated for foraging species and other species
that may prefer isolated Reef Balls.
C) From Japan, Terrax reported, “ A disadvantage is that concrete, once
placed in the sea, elutes strongly alkaline components have a pH of 11 or
higher and calcium hydroxide ions. The elution continues for a long time
and changes the water making it unfit for fishery. This disturbs the
natural marine ecology and disrupts the life of marine organisms.
Concrete structures when placed in water elute calcium ions (Ca+) over an
extended period, which reacts with carbon dioxide (CO2) to form calcium
carbonate (CaC03). This can deposit on reefs, stones and conglomerates on
the sea bottoms, to accelerate the shore burning.”
From this, we can conclude that the use of Reef Ball’s concrete
formulations which avoids this problem from using regular concrete is
essential not only to getting a natural growth on your Reef Balls but also
to protect other parts of the Reef from shore burning.
Note from Terrax on “Shore Buring”: “Shore Burning is a phenomenon in
which reefs, stones and conglomerates on the sea bottom are covered in a
milky white calcium carbonate (CaCO3) with the result that organisms on
the sea bottom lose their living environments. Once this happens the sea
can no longer recyucle resources and cannot provide good fishery fields.”
More from the 7th CARAH scientific conference later…